The new trailer for Season 11 of Doctor Who, which dropped on Thursday at San Diego Comic-Con, revealed the heroic time traveler's new sonic screwdriver, her new "best friends," and a lot of good vibes. One thing the trailer did not reveal was the Doctor's famous time machine, the TARDIS. In fact, other than a promotional image released earlier this year, Jodie Whittaker's new Doctor has not been seen in or around her TARDIS. What could it mean?
When we last saw the Doctor, she had just regenerated at the end of "Twice Upon a Time," Peter Capaldi's final episode as the 12th Doctor. And, in the very last moments, the TARDIS not only went out of control (like it does with all these regenerations) but the Doctor actually fell out of the TARDIS. The final shots of "Twice Upon a Time" showed the Doctor falling through the sky as the beloved blue box seemed to explode.
In the first trailer, we don't see the TARDIS. Sure, the Doctor mentions that she's going to be traveling to "new worlds," which certainly implies she'll be using the TARDIS to get around, but not necessarily. In fact, there's a precedent in Doctor Who for the Doctor getting separated from the TARDIS.
During the vast majority of the 3rd Doctor's (Jon Pertwee) tenure, the Doctor was stranded on Earth by the Time Lords and didn't start using the TARDIS again until it was nearly time to regenerate again. During the 11th Doctor era (Matt Smith) the Doctor borrowed a vortex manipulator to zap back and forth through time when he was separated from the TARDIS. The point is, sometimes the Doctor regaining the TARDIS is part of the journey on Doctor Who, and its conspicuous absence in the new trailer might be a signal that the new Doctor won't get the TARDIS back right away. Could the Doctor and her new companions be on a quest to get the TARDIS back for, if not one, maybe several episodes?
When Matt Smith took over as the Doctor in 2010, the BCC made a big deal about previewing the interior of his new TARDIS, which made sense, we got to see Matt's new TARDIS in his very first episode. And of course, it's possible a new trailer will emerge very soon showing the Doctor piloting the TARDIS, but other than one scene of the Doctor running down some kind hallway, even the interior of this famous time/spaceship seems to be missing.
So, will the Doctor regain the TARDIS in the first episode, or will it take much longer to get back to the famous blue box that's bigger on the inside? It looks like Season 11 of Doctor Who might have more surprises than anyone thought.